Paul Hastings is continuing its China expansion with the creation of a mainland intellectual property group. Tony Chen, a former partner at California patent law firm Rosza & Chen, will head up the new China IP team from the firm's 18-lawyer Shanghai office.

Paul Hastings has been ramping up its Asian practice for a few years. It opened its Shanghai office in October after poaching China specialist Mitch Dudek from rival firm Jones Day and earlier last year it hired securitization big-shot Neil Campbell from Sidley Austin Brown & Wood.

Adding intellectual property to the mix will take the firm a step further towards offering a full-service practice on the ground in China. "With his legal, science and business credentials as well as his knowledge of China, Tony will be instrumental in helping the firm to build a strong regional team offering IP and legal advice to clients involved in the technology and science sectors in China," says Mitch Dudek, managing partner of the Shanghai office.

Typical of intellectual property lawyers, Chen's background is multi-dimensional. After training as a scientist at China's University of Science and Technology he went to Harvard Law School and subsequently qualified as a lawyer in California. Using his dual skills he worked in-house for Watson Pharmaceutical as its intellectual property counsel, then in private practice representing hi-tech and biotech companies and, after a brief flirtation with the dotcom buzz, co-founded GenoSpectra, a biotechnology company in Silicon Valley.